Financial PlanningWhen it comes to your financial well-being, it's never too early (or too late) to begin planning. Understanding your financial needs and goals is the first step in achieving a sound financial future. The Treasurer's Office supports programs that will help Connecticut families plan for important financial goals.
CHET - Connecticut‘s 529 College Savings Program
The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) is Connecticut's only state-sponsored 529 college savings program. The Connecticut State Treasurer is the trustee of CHET. CHET accounts help families plan and save for college in a tax-advantaged investment vehicle. CHET features state and federal tax free earnings and withdrawals on qualified higher education expenses. Connecticut families can take an income tax deduction (up to $5,000 for single filers, $10,000 for joint filers) on contributions to CHET accounts. CHET has among the lowest fees in the industry, offers a choice of investment options, and can be used at thousands of higher education institutions in the United States and abroad. CHET is for all income levels, and accounts can be opened with as little as $25 (or $15 per pay period if your employer offers this service).
On February 8, 2021, Connecticut State Treasurer and Trustee of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), Shawn T. Wooden, relaunched the State’s 529 college savings plan under new program manager, Fidelity Investments. Click here to read the press release.
Our office has transitioned to Fidelity Investments as the plan manager. Participants should visit the Fidelity CHET Transition website at Fidelity.com/CHETactivate for more information on the transition of your 529 account and how to activate.
CHESLA - The Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority
The Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA) is a quasi-public state authority created to help students and their families finance the cost of higher education. It serves as an alternative source of loan funds for students and families. Visit www.chesla.org for details.
CT Dollars & Sense
The CT Dollars & Sense website is a one-stop resource for planning, saving and paying for college. It offers "the information that you need -- whether you're trying to save, looking for scholarships, considering a loan or just want to figure out how to put it all together." The website combines college planning and financial literacy information from CHET, CHESLA, the Office of Higher Education, the Department of Banking, and the Department of Consumer Protection. Visit www.CtDollarsandSense.com.
Individual Development Accounts
The goal of Individual Development Accounts is to provide Connecticut's working families with new opportunities to build assets and improve their knowledge of personal finance on the road to economic self-sufficiency.
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) are savings accounts that provide public and private matching funds for people with modest incomes to save for first-time home purchases, job training and education, business start-ups, automobiles to secure employment, lease deposits and education for a dependent child. Eligible families receive extensive financial education and training so they can achieve their identified goals.
Account owners are required to participate in the financial education component. Under the program, account holders must maintain regular bank account deposits over the program savings period. Matching funds are not released to the account owner until savings goals are met.
This program started in 2000 after a statewide task force that included financial institutions, community organizers, and representatives from state and local government. The task force produced an in-depth report on how to help low-income families become economically self-sufficient. The report led to a 2000 law, a summary of which can be viewed here: Connecticut IDA Act.
The Connecticut Department of Labor operates the IDA program. It has a website with useful information for program operators, financial institutions, funders, policymakers, community agencies and everyone interested in IDAs. It can be accessed here: http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/ida/idahome.htm. For further information, contact Leslie White.
This National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) website offers practical articles, worksheet, tips, and valuable services from the web to help with the financial implications of major life events, major purchases and investing for the future. Visit www.smartaboutmoney.org.
This website offers advice about personal finance, money management, budgeting, saving, debt, student loans, real estate, business finance and retirement. Visit www.annuity.org/financial-literacy.